Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) is an international alliance of academic and research libraries developed by the Association of Research Libraries in 1998 which promotes open access to scholarship.[1] The coalition currently includes some 800 institutions[1] in North America, Europe, Japan, China and Australia.

Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition
Formation1998 (1998)
FocusOpen access publishing
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Official language
LeaderHeather Joseph
SubsidiariesAlliance for Taxpayer Access
Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions
AffiliationsSPARC Europe
SPARC Africa

Richard Johnson served as director 1998-2005.[2] Heather Joseph became executive director in 2005.[3][4]


The idea of SPARC was presented at the 1997 annual meeting of the Association of Research Libraries.[5][6] Kenneth Frazier,[7] librarian at the University of Wisconsin, proposed that attendees at the meeting develop a fund to create a new publication model for academic journals wherein many libraries contributed to that fund, and from that fund, the contributors would create new publications on some model which lowered the costs of all journals.[5] As founding director, Rick Johnson led the establishment of SPARC in 2002 as a result of so many librarians expressing the desire for reform.[5]

SPARC Europe was established with LIBER in 2001.[8] David Prosser became director in 2002.[9]

SPARC has established itself as an international alliance of academic and research libraries working "to correct imbalances in the scholarly publishing system". Its focus is to stimulate the emergence of new scholarly communication models that expand the dissemination of scholarly research and reduce financial pressures on libraries. Action by SPARC in collaboration with stakeholders – including authors, publishers, and libraries – builds on the opportunities created by the networked digital environment to advance the conduct of scholarship. Leading academic organizations have endorsed SPARC. SPARC Europe Seal for Open Access Journals offers certification for journals choosing the CC-BY license (Creative Commons) and provide the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) with metadata on article level.[10]

SPARC Author Addendum

SPARC publishes an addendum which authors may use to negotiate with academic publishers. The form provides a templated request by authors to add to the copyright transfer agreement which the publisher sends to the author upon acceptance of their work for publication. Authors which use the form typically retain the rights to use their own work without restriction, receive attribution, and to self-archive. The form gives the publisher the right to obtain a non-exclusive right to distribute a work for profit and to receive attribution as the journal of first publication.[11][12]


Founding organizations:

Later endorsements:

See also


  1. David J. Brown; Richard Boulderstone (2008). Impact of Electronic Publishing: The Future for Publishers and Librarians. Germany: K.G. Saur. pp. 200–201. ISBN 978-3-598-44013-7 via Google Books.
  2. "Plan for Low-cost Journals Online". Publishers Weekly. US. 244 (29). July 20, 1998.
  3. "SPARC at Ten: A Decade Later, Organization Still Aims to Be Part of The Solution", Library Journal, January 18, 2007, archived from the original on December 2, 2008
  4. "SPARC Staff". SPARC. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  5. Groen, Frances K. (2007). Access to medical knowledge : libraries, digitization, and the public good. Lanham, Mar.: Scarecrow Press. pp. 218–220. ISBN 978-0-8108-5272-3.
  6. "Will journal publishers perish?", The Economist, UK, May 11, 2000
  7. Carol Kaesuk Yoon (December 8, 1998), "Soaring Prices Spur a Revolt in Scientific Publishing", New York Times
  8. "About Us". SPARC. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  9. "SPARC Europe Hires Director". Library Journal. August 30, 2002.
  10. "Europe and North America - Global Open Access Portal". UNESCO. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  11. "Author rights". 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
  12. "Author rights" (PDF). SPARC. Retrieved 11 September 2013.

Further reading

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